Allow me to digress for a moment today rather than cast my opinion of another frustrating Saturday afternoon and take a look forward to the festive period by pulling out five Christmas crackers of days gone by:
1. Wigan Athletic 4 Man City 3 Boxing Day 2005. 25,000+ on at a furiously excitable DW were treated to a seven goal thriller (in our favour) including a brace for Jason Roberts and none other than Joey Barton spanking home a volley for the visitors who we used to beat regularly believe it or not….
2. Bury 3 Wigan Athletic 3 Boxing Day 1994. We played away on Boxing Day nearly every year in the 80’s and 90’s, not that we ever moaned about it but this festive cracker at Gigg Lane should have never been played as it was an absolute mudbath with the likes of Mark Leonard rounding the ‘keeper only for the ball the get stuck in a puddle on the goal-line. Great entertainment though!
3. Oldham Athletic 2 Wigan Athletic 1, Boxing Day 2000. Yes we lost but the spectacular sight of Chubby Brown, Superman and God leading the singing amongst 3,000 travelling fans in the customary sub-zero temperatures at Boundary Park more than made up for it
4. Wigan Athletic 2 Chelsea 3, 23rd December 2006. Yes we lost this one too but occasionally, just occasionally Big Emile was the best centre forward in the world. Today was one of those days as he terrorised the Chelsea back line of Essien and Carvalho bagging a brace in the process in a completely unplayable performance as we fought back to level from 2-0. Sadly, Chelsea have a nasty habit of bagging late goals against us and this time it was the mercurial Arjan Robben who slammed home a stoppage time winner.
5. Wigan Athletic 5 Blackburn Rovers 3, 15th December 2007. What’s not to like about a game with two hat-tricks in it? Those fans who call Jordi Gomez lazy need to go back a few years and watch fellow Premier League match ball collector Marcus Bent play. Maybe not this day in particular though as he was in sublime form as Latics raced into a 3-0 lead. Rovers looked dead, buried and disinterested but Roque Santa Cruz had other ideas banging in a quick-fire hat-trick to level at 3-3 only for Bent to complete his own hat-trick and Latics to run out 5-3 winners in an amazing afternoon
So there’s the challenge class of 2012/13: Come out and thrill us, and even if you fall short or get undone by a moment of genius, we’ll walk away happy. We could do with some points mind you in case you hadn’t noticed…..
Article first published in the Wigan Evening Post 12th Man column on Wednesday 12th December 2012
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